Sunday, April 12, 2009

Forgiving one's religion


Is the message of Wiccan priest Harry Dorman, published in the Traverse City Record-Eagle . "Beyond interfaith considerations, there can also be "intra-faith" issues creating points of discomfort within one's own faith. In such instances, we may need to forgive our religion in order to set aside its perceived imperfections." He says. "...one must step back and embrace the larger question -- whether a circumstance is significant enough to destroy the faith-follower relationship.
If the answer is "no," the proper action becomes that of forgiving one's religion and moving on within it. This is a better course of action than quickly and/or blindly divorcing one's religion in favor of another -- one that most likely comes with its own imperfections."

This is a message people of all religions need to hear, but Wiccans and UUs possibly the most. Nobody can bad-mouth a Wiccan like another Wiccan, and some UUs can hold grudges for decades- but that's only half the story. NeoPaganism and Unitarian Universalism share an important trait- having a much higher percentage of adult converts than most mainstream religions. This results in a high percentage of people who have been hurt, are still resentful, and spend a lot of time and bandwidth bad-mouthing their former religions.

While understandable, this behavior is unseemly. Whether your pain came from a former religion or a current congregation, give it up- forgive your religion. As Rev. Dorman says, "Learning to forgive ourselves, those around us and, when necessary, our religion will help us find joy in our diverse and interconnected existence."

2 comments:

ms. kitty said...

Well said, Joel, I wish more UUs would get the message!

Strange Attractor said...

Forgiveness does not mean that I condone their doctrine. I have nothing against people who have a personal faith in Christ, but I have a real problem with those who want to impose their morality and ideals on everyone else. - Maybe I need to work harder on forgiveness.